The FT has reported that KPMG is planning to give up its graduate recruitment programme in the UK, and is instead planning to recruit before young people go to university. It is intending to take on 75 school leavers a year and send them on a four-year accountancy degree at Durham University, for this which KPMG will pay the costs, and a salary.
Three thoughts follow: KPMG are clearly worried about the need to catch young people young so that they can train them in their way of thinking before they can be corrupted by thoughts of ethics, tax justice or duty to society.
Second, doesn’t this deny 95% of the benefit of going to university, which in my experience was to have the opportunity to learn and question independently, even if I did end up with KPMG at the end of the process?
Third, shame on Durham for being so blatantly commercial that they will degrade their academic process into being a mere training scheme. I talk about regulatory capture quite often, but this is academic capture, and it probably amounts to much the same thing because in both cases the chance of objectivity disappears.